Ryan Rado, an artist residing in Colombia, TN uses color layering and flux behavior to create hi-resolution representations of his process toward sorting himself out. The goal of his work is to integrate the lighter and the darker parts of his psychological and physical capabilities, according to dreams he has while sleeping. "I've always had a vivid dream life - I just now began to pay more attention to it. The stories of self are coded in each. Bless you." says Rado.
WCG: How did you get to be where you are now as an artist?
Rado: I was working in the grocery department at Whole Foods in Franklin. While stocking cans of beans, I thought to myself, "What am I doing here at Whole Foods? I'm stacking beans on top of other beans. I don't think I want to do this anymore." I envisioned one thick paint stroke of vermilion red on a dark grey background with a black frame around it. That weekend, I went to help my friend with a screen-printing job in Nashville. I was talking about my job and its impending endnote and about the image of red, grey, black. He had a bunch of old acrylics. He gave them to me, and I grabbed a board right there and began applying color with fingers. That was three years ago. Boo ya.
WCG: What does being an artist mean to you?
Rado: I have the opportunity to help other see, literally. The ambiguity of an abstraction of thought sometimes causes people to feel repelled from entering into a space of "not knowing," which happens when we're having an argument/disagreement or a discussion and boundaries aren't discussed beforehand. It's an everyday occurrence, especially when we're forced to operate outside of routine for an indeterminate length of time. It's that arc of thought where progress is made and new thought patterns have great potential to embed themselves between each synapse. The wholeness of an abstracted color pattern or structure is compelling to the viewer if done with conviction. I have an opportunity to help others use their imagination to access their own unconscious substructures. Ending my elaboration - make ya think in yer thinker.
WCG: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work?
Rado: To sort myself out. I open myself up to equal parts of dark and light. It's a concourse where I'm confronted with taking off into a flight of turbulence in hope and belief to land safely at the end of what? In part, I've intended to create myself in my workspace. Expand and contract. Inspiration and expiration. Belief and doubt. Creating allows myself to "fail forward." When the flight is over I'm once again shown by God that I'm equal parts tyrant and hero, which I believe to be the whole Artist.
WCG: What two art-related achievements are you the proudest of?
Rado: The album cover art for musician Julien Baker's second full length release. It is due out Oct 27. She is the real deal. Also, my work has been a bridge in helping my Father and I develop a relationship as adults. He is an artist as well. Amen.
WCG: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Rado: Work hard, and seek out a skilled psychotherapist. I'm serious. Bust your ass, put the time in, and work like you mean it. Practice and pursue other techniques and ways of learning about process and application. In my twenties, I wanted the recognition merely because I'm a "special snowflake" just like everyone else. I was lazy. Now, I'm tired, but I keep producing and learning and doubting the whole thing. It's better to have an aim at something rather than nothing. If you're digging to uncover the truth about what you make and who you are then it's important to have some real help from someone who can show you the tools and vehicles to navigate that type of terrain. Mental stability, to me, is allowing yourself to feel two completely opposing thoughts at the same time. Observe yourself and your actions - what you say and do is a solid testament to what's buried in your heart.
Rado's Closing Remarks: I teach "painting" classes in Columbia, TN at The Columbia Arts Building. Classes of 20-35 children and adults. My classes meet current TN art educational standards. Come down and see.
SGB Featured Work (September - October 2017)
Crayola color study - acrylic on board w finish coat, custom frame. Approx - 50"x40"h
Kings color study - acrylic on board w finish coat, custom frame. Approx - 40"x33"h
Peach - acrylic on board w finish coat, custom frame. Some folks see an orca. :) Approx- 24"x24".
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